It’s 8:15 a.m., and you’re late to work. You grab a poppy seed bagel, a cup of coffee and hustle to your car.
You turn the key to the ignition and … nothing.
If your vehicle isn’t starting, it could indicate any number of issues, including a dead battery or more significant – and costly – problems. So to avoid a headache and frantic Google searching, here are a few possible reasons your vehicle won’t start.
The battery is the heartbeat of your vehicle, and if it’s not fully charged your car may not start. Dead batteries can be caused by anything from leaving exterior or interior lights on to a faulty alternator.
If you battery has died, it can be “jumped” by using jumper cables and another vehicle. Be sure to apply the jumper cables securely to the property battery cables before attempting to turn over your engine.
Please note, after you start your car you should immediately consult a professional to check the condition of your battery.
Here a few things to avoid to keep your battery charged:
- Make sure all lights are turned off before turning your car off
- Keep your terminals clean and regularly apply anti-corrosive solution
- Avoid leaving your car outside during drastic temperature changes, such as a strong cold front
Your vehicle’s starter, or solenoid, is the spark that connects your battery to your engine. If you starter won’t turn over, your engine won’t run.
The most common sign of a faulty starter is a clicking noise when turning the ignition. However, please note that a dead battery and faulty starter will show similar symptoms.
A common test for battery strength is turning the vehicle’s headlights off and on. However, a battery may have enough juice to power the lights but not the engine. It’s best to consult a professional for a thorough inspection.
Possible signs of a faulty starter:
- A loud clicking noise when you turn the ignition
- The engine attempt to turn over but can’t complete ignition
- The interior and exterior lights turn on but the car won’t start
Another issue could be a defective ignition switch, which guides your starter to turn over the engine.
If you suspect your ignition switch is defective, perform the battery test above and consult a professional. A defective ignition switch could cost you significantly more than a battery or starter so it’s best to explore all possible problems first.
Empty gas tank
With all the previous options explored, ask yourself: Did I remember to fill up?
The simplest solution could be an extremely low gas tank. An empty tank could mean you forgot to fill up, and the engine doesn’t have enough gas to turn over. Also, it could mean you have a gas leak, which would be a far more significant problem.
To avoid possible embarrassment, consider keeping a gallon tank of gasoline in your vehicle. Remember, gasoline can emit fumes that can fill the exterior of a vehicle if not properly secured. Be sure not to smoke around a tank of gasoline in your vehicle.
Give us a call!
If you’ve already tried to diagnose your vehicle and you still can’t figure out what’s wrong, call our tow truck company today! Most of our drivers have been working with automobiles for many years and can help diagnose many of the issues requiring roadside assistance.
If we can’t determine what’s wrong and get your vehicle moving again, we’ll gladly tow you to one of the auto mechanic shops we recommend in Fort Wayne.